Weekly Brief, September 7, 2012
Syrian journalist Malik Al-Abdeh argues that the Syrian National Council’s lack of leadership has been a disaster for the revolt against Assad. Political analyst Jay Ulfelder explains why Kim Jong Un may be about to embark on reform in North Korea. Blair Glencorse and Charles Landow report on five East African nations that are working ...
Syrian journalist Malik Al-Abdeh argues that the Syrian National Council's lack of leadership has been a disaster for the revolt against Assad.
Syrian journalist Malik Al-Abdeh argues that the Syrian National Council’s lack of leadership has been a disaster for the revolt against Assad.
Political analyst Jay Ulfelder explains why Kim Jong Un may be about to embark on reform in North Korea.
Blair Glencorse and Charles Landow report on five East African nations that are working towards an economic community modeled on the European Union (but without a common currency, thank you).
In a conversation with Paul Starobin, Russia scholar Leon Aron explains why he predicts a bright future for Russian democracy.
Min Zin reports on the Burmese government’s decision to lift censorship — and also weighs in with a blog post about the political impact of the many exiles now returning to the country at the invitation of the reformist president.
Larry Jagan analyzes the latest cabinet reshuffle in Burma, contending that it augurs well for reform.
Endy Bayuni details the continuing struggle of Indonesia’s Shiites to achieve just treatment from their Sunni neighbors.
And Juan Nagel offers an update on Venezuela’s nerve-wracking presidential election.
And finally, in this week’s historical case study from Princeton’s Innovations for Successful Societies, Michael Scharff describes the unlikely path to a successful election in a troubled city in Northern Ireland.
And now for this week’s recommended reads:
Al Akhbar English explains why the extradition to Libya of Colonel Qaddafi’s former intelligence chief could help to solve one of the lingering mysteries of modern Middle East history: the fate of the Lebanese Shiite cleric Moussa al-Sadr, who disappeared in Libya in 1978.
Time correspondents Rania Abouzeid and Jabal al-Zawya profile a Syrian rebel brutalized by the horrors of civil war. Writing for the Zurich-based International Relations and Security Network, Paul Rogers charts the growing participation of jihadist groups in the anti-Assad rebellion.
In an intriguing essay for Jadaliyya, Deen Sharp argues that small cities, rather than capitals, have been the real revolutionary hotbed in the Middle East.
The International Crisis Group’s Jim Della-Giacoma argues that Burma’s government should look to Indonesia for concrete advice on overcoming ethnic and sectarian conflict. Francis Fukuyama, blogging at The American Interest about his recent visit to Burma, writes about the priorities of reform.
At The New York Review of Books Blog, Ian Johnson interviews Chinese dissident Yuan Zhiming, who argues that Christianity offers a basis for democracy.
And Freedom House analyst Arch Puddington wonders if South America’s current generation of left-populist leaders — led by Hugo Chávez, pictured above at a campaign rally — are responsible for the decline in democracy across the continent.
Christian Caryl is the former editor of Democracy Lab, published by Foreign Policy in partnership with Legatum Institute. Twitter: @ccaryl
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